I am unable to attend Board Meetings due to other obligations. So, I respond here and am opening a discussion as I suggest below. To concerned leaders:
I started teaching 20 years ago. I have taught in California, on the Zuni Pueblo, and in New Mexico. My last two years of teaching have been in TUSD.
- Utterback losing its Magnet status. It is such a disappointment that the school was unable to maintain its Magnet program when we live in such a rich diverse Arts community. My solution? Invite local artists into the school for monthly performances and master classes. Students and community members (for a fee) could participate in these classes. Artists in residence could work together with certified teachers to create and deliver top notch curriculum. Teachers in all subject areas should have experience in the Magnet focus, and implement it in their classrooms.
Certain vendors are required to be used for purchases, e.g. notebooks cost $2 each via the approved vendor, when they could be purchased at 3 for $1 from non-approved vendors during Back-to- School time. I have worked in a District that allowed teachers to purchase $100 worth of classroom materials, and be reimbursed by the District. I could get a LOT more from that. I don’t know if the policy exists because someone mismanaged money? The current process is a huge mismanagement of money!
Lack of support and resources (training and staffing) for properly implementing Restorative Practices. A friend of mine’s son was bullied severely, and she has removed him from the District. I had heard of problems with violence in TUSD schools. I have seen situations in my school where restorative practices were used properly, and resolved the situation. I have also seen situations where the restorative practices were used ineffectively, leaving students and staff frustrated, ready to give up.
My understanding is that the desegregation requirement results in some students being unable to attend their neighborhood schools.
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Personally, I have felt supported and listened to from District employees and Dr. Sanchez and Dr. Morado. However, I have also witnessed the lack of proper implementation of Restorative Practices. In conversation, I understood that an outside consultant would be hired to assist with the training, and to ensure proper implementation of the process. I am not sure if this occurred.
I have heard that there is a lack of proper use of Roberts Rules of Order to ensure civil procedures during Board Meetings, and the Call to Audience has been extended for unmanageable lengths of time, which leads me to my next thought…
The lack of a special meeting/town hall (not sure what it is called) for concerned individuals to share their concerns. Alternatively, something could be started on a Facebook thread for discussion, perhaps with a moderator who could communicate with individuals who have inappropriately phrased comments, with the intent to remove messages with inappropriate language, and attacking of another person’s comments. The comment could be edited to be appropriate. Concerned individuals could save their original comments in case of inappropriate moderation.
I love my students and families. We need to find ways to support them, and our teachers, through appropriate use of funds.
These views are my personal views and do not represent the views of anyone else, but myself.